Thursday, September 13, 2018

New Database Monitors Episcopal Fidelity, Including Support for Right Liturgy

LifeSiteNews, for which I am a daily columnist, has just launched an initiative called Faithful Shepherds. It is an idea that I have heard people speculate about for years and wish would come true, without having the organizational resources to make it happen. Needless to say, it is welcome at this critical moment in the life of the Church. From the official announcement:
Faithful Shepherds helps hold American bishops accountable by providing years, sometimes decades, of past tweets, public speeches, sermons, actions, pastoral letters, and diocesan guidelines. Faithful Shepherds currently gives evidence of where U.S. bishops stand on ten issues: Archbishop Vigano’s testimony, Amoris Laetitia, pro-life leadership, homosexuality, abortion politics, contraception, “LGBT” ideology, liturgy, marriage and family life, and education. More will be added as new evidence is gathered.
Like many other initiatives in our days, it depends on user-submitted documentation, as there would be no other way for a small organization like LifeSite to collect the data necessary to make this database really useful and comprehensive.

Readers of NLM will be interested in particular in the category of Liturgy:
A return to reverence in the liturgy has been called for by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The harm of liturgical abuse has destroyed much of the Church. Since liturgy is the primary means of prayer it of primary importance to get it right. A return to Gregorian chant, communion on the tongue while kneeling, and ad orientem Masses are needed. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued a document titled Summorum Pontificum, which allowed for a much wider use of the Traditional Latin Liturgy.
In these sentences, we see some of the most important issues on the basis of which any Catholic bishop's fidelity and reverence for the Real Presence of Our Lord must be assessed: true sacred music, proper reception of holy communion, eastward orientation, and generous provision of and for the traditional Latin liturgy.

I would urge NLM readers to submit evidence, particularly in the area of Liturgy [1], to help categorize the American bishops, as there are still very many who, in this new database, are marked “unknown,” yet are very well known, for good or for ill, by their flocks. If there is any lesson we are learning or should be learning, it is this: the lay faithful have two and only two recourses, earnest prayer and pushing very very hard for reform and accountability. Both are necessary; neither is superfluous. Even if the Lord relents and gives us a good pope someday, the active, continual, relentless contribution of the lay faithful will still be necessary for decades to come, due to the deep institutional corruption we are facing.

So, please, check out this website and submit such evidence as you can, in the form of tweets, speeches, sermons, actions, pastoral letters, or diocesan guidelines.

NOTE
[1] To give an example: Blaise Cupich, when bishop in Rapid City, locked traditional Catholics out of their church so that they would be unable to celebrate Triduum services, which they ended up celebrating outdoors.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: